Waking up in the morning, you probably hope for a fresh, relaxed start to the working day, but if your joints feel stiff and uncomfortable, your hopes are likely to be dashed instantly. Awakening with aches and pains or suffering from regular disturbed sleep could, if you otherwise enjoy good physical health, be a sign that your mattress is approaching the end of its life and a replacement is necessary to restore peaceful, comfortable sleep. Even if you’ve previously invested in a good quality mattress, it won’t last forever, although premium brands are likely to offer a longer lifespan than cheaper equivalents. Replacing your mattress, when the time comes, is vital for a number of reasons: • When you purchase a mattress, it’s important to choose a product that suits your body shape and weight to provide maximum support, but over time these aspects of your body change. Also, the internal springs in the mattress become more supple, meaning they lose their firmness and aren’t able to support your body as effectively as when the mattress was new. • Over time, your mattress becomes a dumping ground for dust, dead skin cells, sweat, dust mites and bodily fluids. Although frequent hoovering will help to eliminate some of the accumulation, deeply ingrained deposits in the fabric of the mattress cover may linger, causing irritation for those people who suffer from allergies. A replacement is the easiest way to deal with this problem. • A mattress that has lost its shape and firmness and is unable to provide you with adequate support means that you’re more likely to toss and turn during the night, interrupting deep sleep and preventing you from getting the rest you need. Not only will you feel disorientated or sluggish in the morning, but you’ll also suffer from aching and stiff joints and that feeling of ‘the need to get going’. Replacing your mattress periodically is essential if you are to enjoy unbroken, restful sleep, but rather than setting an exact date for its replacement, you should take note of the warning signs that suggest it’s approaching the end of its lifespan.